Police from the United States of America are seeking to team up with local law enforcement to crack a notorious international lottery scam known as the Jamaican Lottery. A senior citizen from the U.S. is the latest victim of the scheme.
Sue Turnback, 68, from Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, U.S., was hustled out of approximately J$1,280,000 (US$20,000) over several weeks last month after she was conned into believing that she won the Jamaican lottery at a staggering US$2.2 million (J$140.8 m).
The Bethlehem City Police Station in Pennsylvania, told The Gleaner that they are trying to crack the case.
Investigator Frank Rossnagle of the Criminal Investigations Unit at the Bethlehem City Police Station did not know when the phoney lottery surfaced but said that it had already made a name for itself. “They tell the victims that they have won money but need to first pay over some money in the form of taxes or other fees before they can collect the money,” he explained.
Investigator Rossnagle revealed that the elderly lady wired the money in the form of six international money orders totalling US$19,880 to three addresses in Jamaica and one in Florida. The local sites were Mount Salem, Albion and Rosemont, all in Montego Bay, St. James.
The Florida location was a place called Miramar. Inspector Rossnagle said that the perpetrators usually use aliases to set up accounts and stolen cellphones to make the calls to unsuspecting individuals.
The inspector also stated that he would be liaising with the local police to see if they can decipher where the monies were collected. However, he admitted that the possibility existed that the monies were not picked up in Jamaica.
The Jamaican Lottery is a part of a vibrant scam industry. “Oh yea (it is a growing trend), mostly it is (said to be the) Canadian lottery,” he said.
Inspector Rossnagle lamented that only a “very small percentage” of cases of this nature gets solved.”
According to an article posted on lotterypost.com/news, Sue Turnback, 68, said a woman calling herself Carrinne Campbell called her on January 4, 2005. Campbell said Turnback won US$2.2 million in the Jamaican lottery but had to mail US$1,000 to Jamaica to process the winnings. The article further stated that Turnback sent the money in an international money order the same day. Turnback received another call later from a man calling himself Everett Montaque, asking for an additional US$4,000, police said.
She also spent US$410.96 to buy the money orders. Turnback told police Montaque claimed to be an FBI agent at one point, that there was a warrant out for her arrest, and she would have to send $5,000 to clear it up. She sent him the money.
Turnback called police after an employee where she was buying money orders asked what she needed them for, and then recommended she call the police.